- uploaded: May 28, 2011
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Freund, a University of Hartford professor, believes he and his research team have found the legendary island-city described by Plato in about 360 B.C. as having "in a single day and night ... disappeared into the depths of the sea." Using satellite photography, ground-penetrating radar, underwater technology and some old-fashioned reasoning, Freund said his team pinpointed the city in a vast marsh in southern Spain that dries out one month a year. Their findings are featured in a National Geographic special premiering tonight, "Finding Atlantis." His team's search began in 2008 with a space satellite photograph showing what looked to be a submerged city in Spain's Dona Ana Park. In 2009 and 2010, Freund's researchers worked with Spanish archaeologists and geologists to explore beneath the mud flats using radar and imaging. "We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense," Freund told Reuters. The memorial sites are significant to Freund's theory because refugees from the lost city would have built smaller-scale versions in tribute. And so when a Spanish scientist led him to ancient sites surrounded by concentric moats -- and a museum featuring standing stones with a symbol similar to Plato's drawing of Atlantis -- Freund was convinced these were commemorations of the destroyed city. His team also found ancient wood dating back to 440 B.C. A core sample taken at the marsh showed a layer of methane -- an indication to Freund that a lot of living things all died at once. "Finding this one layer of methane is a very telltale sign of a society that is destroyed in one fell swoop," he told the Hartford Courant. "This was in the middle of nowhere, and there was no methane layer found in the area except where we were working." Explorers looking for Atlantis previously have focused on the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.